Earlier this week the Emmy nominees were announced and while there was an abundance of nominations for LGBTQ talent in the television industry, there were some incredible actresses that were snubbed. The actresses I am talking about are the extraordinarily talented trans women from Pose. Each of these women had stellar performances in the sophomore season of the FX show.
MJ Rodriguez’s character on Pose, Blanca Evangelista, had a rich storyline in the show’s second season. Blanca was realizing her dream of owning her own nail salon while dealing with her wealthy yet bigoted landlady (played by the equally talented Patti LuPone). Also, after being diagnosed as HIV + in the first episode of Pose, Blanca started experiencing life-threatening symptoms which by the season two finale, Blanca came close to dying. The scene in the hospital where Blanca gives Pray Tell (played by Billy Porter who deservedly nominated for his role) her will was one of her most challenging scenes in the season.
In an interview with Vulture, Rodriguez explained her motivation in that scene:
“She (Blanca) wanted to be strong because she is presenting her will to her friend, Pray Tell, who was possibly going to carry off the legacy and spread it.”
Another moment in the finale of season two for Rodriguez was when Blanca lip-synced Whitney Houston’s ‘Star-Spangled Banner.’ The entire performance was enough to give the viewer chills and goosebumps because it seemed at that moment, Rodriguez was possessed by Whitney Houston’s ghost.
The case for why Dominique Jackson, who plays the fierce diva, Elektra, should have been nominated can be summed up in one scene in episode nine of Pose’s second season. While vacationing with the other girls in the Hamptons, they decide to go out to dinner which leads to Elektra reading a snobby Hampton woman for filth.
Jackson also has many other scenes in season two that adds new layers to her character that pushes the viewer’s love/hate relationship to Elektra over towards love. One of those scenes is in the season finale when Elektra becomes emcee for the Ball while Pray Tell and the judges walk in the competition.
Indya Moore’s character, Angel, had a few standout moments herself in season two of Pose. Angel’s story arc for the season was becoming a successful model for a high profile modeling agency. The way Moore portrayed Angel’s rise as a model followed by the pull to do cocaine at an industry party showed how Angel’s success brought out a need in Angel to fit in and be accepted by an industry that was severely transphobic during that timeframe.
In the season finale when Angel is fired from the agency for being trans, Moore channels the heartbreak of Angel’s rejection and leaves the viewer sympathizing with her.
Finally, Hailie Sahar and Angelica Ross, who play Pose’s mean girls, Lulu and Candy, have their best moments in episode four of season two. Shahar’s Lulu scene at Candy’s casket showed how masterful Lulu’s switch from sad and mournful to over-the-top crazy anger at her deceased friend and co-mother was.
Ross as Candy’s ‘ghost’ showed how even though the viewer hated Candy throughout the first season and the first half of season two, you couldn’t help but feel sad for her when she talked to her parents but felt happy for her ‘triumph’ at the end of the episode.
Sadly, none of these talented ladies were nominated for the tremendously great work they did in season two of Pose, but all of them handled their snubs with such grace.
Billy Porter, who was nominated for his role on the FX series, mentioned the snub on his Instagram:
“I have been doing this for a long, long time. It has taken me 30 years to get recognized for my work…I know the pain of being overlooked so well. Too well.”
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It took me a minute to process all of the conflicting thoughts I had about yesterday. A record number of Black actors received #Emmy nominations this year, myself included. For that, I am grateful. . I have been doing this for a long, long time. It has taken me 30 years to get recognized for my work. If you had told me at 20 that I would win my first Emmy at 50…that I would win at all would have been inconceivable. But that I would have to wait that long would have been disappointing, frustrating, heartbreaking. I know the pain of being overlooked so well. Too well. . When I look at my Emmy win last year, I see the exuberant joyfulness in the faces of my #Pose family. MY win is THEIR win. And just as we share in each other’s happiness, we all share in each other’s pain. For me, @poseonfx lives at the intersection of art and activism and that is important to me. But I am keenly aware that for my SISTERS – it is much, much deeper than that. This is the story of their LIVES. . I love you @mjrodriguez7 @angelicaross @dominiquet.a.r.jackson @indyamoore @hailiesahar . Thank you @mrrpmurphy @stevencanals @janetmock @ourladyj @ryanjamaalswain @dyllonburnside @angelbcuriel
However, it is a disservice to not only these women but the trans community that these ladies, who are the heart, the attitude, the soul, and the unapologetic confidence of Pose, were not recognized.
Granted, this year’s Emmy nominations have more inclusion but it would have been nice for these actresses to get recognized for their roles.
Hopefully, whenever we get season three, Rodriguez, Moore, Jackson, and Sahar will get the recognition they deserve. The real crime is that Angelica Ross’ Candy will probably not be seen in the third season so she will not even be able to get an Emmy nod but with any luck, we will see her in another role that will prove to be a contender for some award.
What are your thoughts on the Emmy snub of the women of Pose? Let us know in the comments or on our social media accounts.
Writer’s Note: This is the opinion of one contributing writer and may not reflect the views of Instinct Magazine itself or fellow contributors